The Need for Prescribing Clinical Psychologists in Illinois is Great

There is a Significant Need for Prescribing Psychologists in Illinois

Woman with PDA

More than 2,796,000 Illinois citizens are in need of mental health treatment that includes expert diagnosis, psychotherapy, and, perhaps, pharmacotherapy. There are too few psychiatrists to meet this need. Psychologists are already taking the additional training necessary to add medication assessment and management to the other effective treatments they provide. The fine record of prescribing psychologists in the military, in the states of New Mexico and Louisiana, on Indian reservations under the Indian Health Service, in the United States Public Health Service, and in the United States Coast Guard, demonstrates that this is a way to make additional services available to the people of Illinois.

• There are many citizens who need mental health services who do not receive them.

• 614,000 seriously mentally ill adults (18 years and older) in Illinois are in need of treatment.

• 1 in 10 Illinois children has a mental health problem (1,265,000) severe enough to cause impairment, but only 1 in 5 of those (253,070) receive treatment.

• 230,927 adolescents (age 13-17) show signs of depression severe enough that they are unable to participate in their normal activities for more than 2 weeks in a row.

• 306,000 older adult citizens of Illinois suffer from depression and 175,000 older adult citizens of Illinois suffer from an anxiety disorder.

• Suicide is 11th among the leading causes of death in Illinois. Suicide is the 6th most common cause of death in Illinois children ages 5-14 (13 deaths in 2002) and it is 3rd among the leading causes of death among Illinois’ young people ages 15-25.

• Suicide rates for rural areas are 5% higher than for urban areas.

• There are not enough psychiatrists.

• The federal government has determined what the citizens of Illinois already know: there are too few psychiatrists in Illinois. 74 counties (out of 102) have been listed as Mental Health Shortage Areas and 70 of these are rural counties.

• Illinois has only 1 psychiatrist or psychiatric resident, for every 1,553 citizens who are in immediate and ongoing need of mental health services, with the greatest shortage in those with subspecialty training in child and adolescent psychiatry. Illinois has only 1 child and adolescent psychiatrist for every 5,750 children who are in immediate need of mental health services.


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